Let My Mother’s Parenting Lows Be Your Parenting Highs

Don’t make these mistakes if you want long, loving relationships with your children.

E.B. Johnson | NLPMP | Editor
9 min readMar 4, 2024

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A few weeks ago, I sat down for a podcast interview with a fellow survivor. The topic? What it meant to break out of the shadow of a toxic mother. My guest had been there too. With a mother who was even more heinous than mine, she had overcome a million different struggles to build a life that was finally, genuinely her own.

As we neared the end of the podcast, we started talking about the defining moments of our childhoods with these parents. My guest told a harrowing story of her mother leaving her in a parking lot while she went on a date with some guy down the road. I was shocked. But imagine my surprise when my guest turned it all around on me.

“What was the worst thing your mother did to you? What was the biggest thing she got wrong?”

I was too stunned to speak. It was a question I hadn’t bothered to consider. What were my mother’s gravest flaws as a parent? More importantly, what could be done to break her cycles and ensure that I didn’t make the same mistakes that she did?

My mother’s biggest parenting mistakes.

When I get questions like the one above, I’m often unsure how to answer them. There was so much chaos, so much upheaval, that I sometimes struggled to pick a “pile of mess” first. My mother made so many mistakes, how do I know what to pick? I needed the answer. After all, if I didn’t know, how could I be sure I was breaking all her cycles?

After I walked away from that podcast interview, I did just that. I sorted through the biggest moments, the nastiest blowups, and asked myself — what were my mother’s biggest mistakes? What were her biggest parenting sins?

Making herself the center

There’s no one on the internet who doesn’t know about my mother’s narcissism. My mother saw herself as the center of the universe and that often came at the cost of her kids. The worst of this would out itself on our big days. Weddings, birthdays, graduations. If the day was about us, it would become about her. My mother made herself the center of focus…

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E.B. Johnson | NLPMP | Editor

NLPMP Coach | Writer & Content Creator | Sharing my knowedge with the world ⭐️ https://linktr.ee/ebjohnson01